When Jadyn Wong was studying business at the University of Calgary, she would “sneak” into auditions for the theater department.
It was a peculiar strategy. Inevitably, it was discovered that she was not a theater major and therefore disqualified from actually landing a role.
Within six months of deciding to become an actress, Wong was on the Alberta set of the 2006 Emmy-winning miniseries "Broken Trail," sharing scenes with screen icon Robert Duvall. It was, Wong now admits, a somewhat surreal and auspicious start to her acting career, which has gone on to include working with David Cronenberg on "Cosmopolis" and an recurring role on the CBC hit "Being Erica."
In fact, her career might the sort of against-the-odds affair that would puzzle the mechanical-engineer genius she plays on "Scorpion," a stubbornly just-the-facts type named Happy Quinn.
In her biggest role to date, Wong joins "Games of Thrones" veteran Elyes Gabel, "America Pie’s" Eddie Kaye Thomas and "Huge’s" Ari Stidham in a show about a brainy but socially awkward task force recruited by a gruff special agent (played by former Terminator Robert Patrick) to battle crime and solve other world-threatening problems.
On the surface, it sounds like a high-concept TV throwback, an updated A-Team for the millennial generation. But "Scorpion" is actually based on a real group and real cases. Gabel plays Walter O’Brien, who is based on an actual person. The real O’Brien, who is an executive producer on the show, has a 197 IQ and runs a Scorpion-like company in Burbank, California. Even Happy Quinn is based on a real genius, albeit one who is “a guy” and “decades older,” Wong says with a laugh.
Whatever the case, Scorpion offers an audience-friendly mix of crime procedure, nail-biting action and quirky characters. The fact that the show comes from "Fast and Furious" director Justin Lin and "Prison Break" producer Nick Santora was a draw for Wong, but it was the show’s focus on interesting characters that sealed the deal for the actress.
Wong has a black-belt in karate, although claims this expertise hasn’t really helped thus far with the sort of stunts required for "Scorpion." She is also trained as a classical pianist.
Still, Wong is not averse to using her own unique skills to land roles. The daughter of Hong Kong immigrants who owned a restaurant in Medicine Hat, Wong said she didn’t have much use for speaking Cantonese while in Canada. Nevertheless, when auditioning for the role of Ghee Moon in "Broken Trail," one of five Chinese girls rescued from a slave trader in the western, she impressed producers by reading for it in her parents’ native dialect.
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